Following the higher bitcoin (BTC) prices seen over the past few weeks, the proportion of old bitcoins that are spent on the network has once again increased, a new report from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode shows.
According to the firm, some long-term bitcoin holders have taken advantage of the currently high bitcoin prices to realize profits, but the volume of this selling has so far not been enough to put a dent on the price.
In its latest weekly report, Glassnode said that increased spending has been seen among wallets that have held on to their bitcoins for between 6 months and 5 years, despite these holders likely being experienced investors “who have weathered non-trivial volatility in this cycle already.”
And while the increase in spending has been the largest in the 6 months to 5 years group, “a sharp uptick” can be seen in all age bands, the firm said, adding that this suggests that “some coins are taking exit liquidity.”
Also, Glassnode noted that as some older bitcoins are being moved, bitcoin balances on exchanges have also seen “a very slight uptick,” following a month-long period of largely stable balances.
“The Exchange Net Flow metric shows that this week saw overall net inflows to exchanges as some traders and investors appear to be taking profits, and capitalising on market strength,” the report said.
However, it also added that the magnitude of the current exchange inflow is “not dissimilar” to the inflows seen during the December 2020 to April 2021 bull market. As such, it should be considered “reasonably expected behaviour,” Glassnode’s analysts wrote.
Looking at the derivatives market for bitcoin, Glassnode also noted that open interest for both options and futures has increased along with the price of the number one cryptocurrency.
After the fall from the USD 27.4bn all-time high during the May sell-off, open interest in Bitcoin futures markets has risen 56%, or by USD 6bn, from the lows of the recent consolidation, it said.
“This week in particular, saw an increase of [USD] 1B in futures contracts opened as traders begin to take on more leverage,” the firm wrote, adding that the data shows “a moderate lean to the long side” among bitcoin futures traders.
Among other findings, the report said that options markets have seen multi-month highs in open interest, rising by over USD 4.1bn or 105% since the June lows. The current level of USD 8bn in open contracts is similar to levels seen during the May sell-off, as well as in January-February this year. However, the prices were lower in both of these time frames, trading around USD 30,000-40,000.
“This too suggests that relative to the total market size, the degree of open interest in derivatives markets is relatively low compared to the degree of leverage seen in the first half of the year,” concluded Glassnode.
At 9:53 UTC on Tuesday, bitcoin was down 1.2% over the past 24 hours, trading at a price of USD 49,625. The price remains up by 7.8% for the past 7 days, and 45% for the past 30 days, per CoinGecko data.